Ohio today will file lawsuits in state court against WorldCom Inc. and Enron Corp., and will withdraw from federal class-action lawsuits against the companies, announced Betty Montgomery, Ohio attorney general.
Ms. Montgomery said today at a news conference that two lawsuits, one against WorldCom and one against Enron, will be filed by the end of the day in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus. State officials think filing in a state court will increase the likelihood of recovering "real dollars and give the state greater control over the lawsuit.
The $50 billion Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, $50 billion Ohio State Teachers Retirement System, $14.8 billion Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation and $600 million Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirement System lost a combined $398.1 million on WorldCom stocks and bonds. In addition, the public employees, teachers and highway patrol systems lost a combined $115.2 million on Enron stock. The suits also are being filed on behalf of the $8.2 billion Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund and $7.3 billion Ohio School Employees Retirement System. The state seeks a recovery of all losses, punitive damages and attorney fees, said Joe Case, director of public affairs at the attorney generals office.